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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The [Episcopal Church General] convention's host, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, has tried to send a message by approving a policy at its December convention that gives local priests permission to officiate at rites of blessing for same-sex couples.
"I think it's about time we get about the business of having marriage equality in the church," said the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Los Angeles Diocese. "I am waiting with bated breath to see what happens" at the Anaheim meeting.
Conservative Episcopalians argue that liberalized policies will not only alienate U.S. parishes but will also add further strain to the church's troubled relationship with church leaders in Africa and elsewhere in the global Anglican Communion.
This month, one of the communion's worldwide leadership bodies affirmed its support for moratoriums on consecrating non-celibate gay bishops and on blessings for same-sex couples. The group was led by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the communion's spiritual leader, who is scheduled to attend the Anaheim convention.
Resisting those mandates will "turn up the flame," said the Rt. Rev. Edward S. Little II, bishop of the Diocese of Northern Indiana and a leader in a group of clergy trying to strengthen Episcopal ties to the Anglican Communion. "If we take a step at General Convention that takes us down the road, we will lose more people," he said.
Still, the Episcopal Church's presiding bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, said she believes the U.S. church and its global partners can co-exist even if they disagree on the rights of gay men and lesbians in the church. She also said she did not expect this year's convention, at which bishops, clergy and lay leaders are allowed to vote, to reach a decision on the issue of same-sex blessing rites.
"We're not afraid of people watching over our shoulders," Jefferts Schori said. "We live with diversity on issues that get people charged up."
Read it carefully and read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) General Convention Presiding Bishop TEC Conflicts Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Lutheran Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)
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